LIBERTY 68, COASTAL CAROLINA 55
Brolin Floyd and Seth Curry each tallied a team-high 15 points, leading the Liberty Flames (12-6, 3-3 Big South) to victory on Monday night, 68-55, over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (7-10, 1-4 Big South), inside the Vines Center. Coastal Carolina stormed out to an early 11-4 lead, which included six points by Joseph Harris. The run was capped by a bucket on a Harris spin move in the post at 12:56. Bill Weaver tallied a bucket on a Johnny Stephene pass at 10:08, cutting the Chanticleers’ lead to three points, 13-10. Weaver’s bucket capped a 6-2 spurt for the Flames.
Baskets by Dexter Moore and another by Harris quickly extended the Flames’ deficit to eight points, 18-10, with 8:36 left in the opening stanza. However, Liberty quickly countered, going on a 12-6 run to cut the Chanticleers’ lead to two points, 24-22. Stephene’s wide-open trey completed the run with 4:21 remaining. Mario Edwards retaliated with a trey of his own on Coastal Carolina’s next possession, move its lead to five points, 27-22, with 3:50 remaining in the first period. The Flames then exploded by running off a 13-2 outburst in the opening stanza’s final two minutes to take a six point lead into the intermission, 35-29. Kyle Ohman nailed a triple to bring the hosts within two points, 27-25. Curry then completed an old fashioned three-point play at 2:18, prompting a streak of 10 straight Liberty markers.
The Chanticleers tried to close their deficit on their final possession, but a Mario Sisinni pass was intercepted by Ohman, who found Floyd for a dunk as time expired, sending Liberty into the break up six points, 35-29. Liberty started the game 2-of-11 from the floor, before finishing the half on a 13-of-25 clip for a 52.0 percent mark. Coastal Carolina finished the first half hitting 43.3 percent (13-of-30) from the floor, including 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from beyond the arc. A Curry putback at 19:44 extended Liberty’s lead to eight points, 37-29, coming out of the break. However, Coastal Carolina scored the next eight points to knot the game at 37-37. Two Harris buckets and a couple free throws by Anthony Breeze capped the burst at 16:31.
Liberty answered with a 12-3 run to retake the lead. A Stephene layup at 12:10 capped the run, as the Flames took the nine point lead, 49-40. An Edwards bucket and a Sisinni trey at 11:08 quickly cut the Liberty advantage to three points, 49-46. However, the Flames pushed the lead to 10 points, 59-49, via 10-3 spurt. A Smith dunk at 7:10 completed the run. Liberty extended its lead to 15 points, 66-51, after Floyd sank two free throws with 1:05 remaining. Coastal Carolina wouldn’t get any closer than 13 points in the final minute, as the Flames held on for the home victory. Liberty finished the contest shooting 50 percent (24-of-48) from the floor, including 29.2 percent (7-of-24) from beyond the arc. Floyd and Curry each tallied 15 points in the winning cause. Floyd’s point total tied his career high he set in the season opener against Montreat. Anthony Smith chipped in 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point land. Ohman pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, while dishing out six assists and grabbing two steals.
Coastal Carolina ended the contest hitting 40.7 percent (22-of-54) of its shots, including 30.4 percent (7-of-23) of its three-point attempts. Harris collected the double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Edwards, Moore and Sisinni all chipped in eight points.
The Flames return to action on Saturday when they travel to Lexington to take on the Big South Conference first-place VMI Keydets. Tip-off is set for 1:00pm. Coastal Carolina will continue its road trip on Saturday at Gardner-Webb. Tip-off is slated for 7:30pm.
VMI 90, PRESBYTERIAN 75
Behind five players in double figures, including a career-high 22 points from Willie Bell and a 20-point second half from Chavis Holmes, the red-hot VMI Keydets defeated the Presbyterian Blue Hose 90-75 Monday night at Cameron Hall. The win is VMI’s 10th-straight victory, and its 13th in the Keydets’ past 14 contests. With the win, VMI moves to 14-2 overall, and the Keydets assure themselves of remaining alone atop the Big South, thanks to their perfect 6-0 mark. The victory equals VMI’s second-longest winning streak ever, and is the team’s first 10-game winning streak since 1978. The triumph also allows VMI to equal its win total, 14, from each of the past two seasons. Presbyterian drops to 6-11 overall with the loss, and the setback makes the Blue Hose 3-3 in conference action.
The Keydets came into the game hot, winners of nine straight, but VMI started the game off cold, hitting just one of its first 11 shot attempts. After an Austin Kenon three-pointer just 10 seconds into the game, VMI missed its next 10 shots, and did not hit another field goal until a Keith Gabriel trey at the 15:07 mark. Despite the nearly five-minute drought, Gabriel’s three-point basket gave the Keydets an 8-7 advantage. Over the next several minutes, Presbyterian was able to hang close, allowing VMI an advantage of no greater than seven points. That edge came at the 9:49 mark off a Quinn Brownfield three-point field goal, but the Blue Hose fought back and retook the lead just two minutes later. An 8-0 Presbyterian run over the next two-plus minutes gave the visiting squad a 27-26 advantage with 7:33 remaining in the opening half. That would be Presbyterian’s final lead of the day.
The Keydets grabbed the lead back just a minute later, as Michael Sparks nailed a three-pointer to make the score 29-27. That basket started a 12-3 VMI run that gave the Keydets an eight-point cushion with 4:35 left in the first half, and the home team increased that edge to 11 with 31 seconds to spare. Presbyterian cut its deficit to nine with a late basket, giving VMI a 45-36 lead at the break. Bell led VMI in the first half with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Chase Holmes led Presbyterian with 10 markers.
The Keydets started the second half on a 5-0 mini-spurt to go up by 14, and held a double digit lead for the majority of the next six minutes. VMI went up 13 on a Chavis Holmes jumper at the 15:25 mark, but the Blue Hose responded with a 6-0 run to chop the Keydet advantage to just seven, 54-47. That was the closest Presbyterian would get the remainder of the evening. VMI’s Gabriel answered the run with a three-pointer, putting the Keydets back up by double-digits, 57-47, and sparking a 10-0 VMI run over the next 1:20. When the push was over, concluded by a Kenon triple at the 12:40 mark, the home team was up 17 and pulling away. The Keydets led comfortably the rest of the way, including a game-best 19-point cushion with just over six minutes to play. The Blue Hose cut the lead to 12 on several occasions, but could get no closer, despite fouling late to try to prolong the contest. VMI converted five-of-six free throws over the last 1:38 to ice the game, and help account for the final score, 90-75.
The Keydets were led by Chavis Holmes and Bell, as Holmes had 20 of his 24 points in the second half, while Bell had 12 rebounds and six assists to help VMI to the victory. Al’Lonzo Coleman led the charge for Presbyterian, as he tallied 19 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. With the win, the Keydets have opened Conference play 6-0 for the first time since 1976-77, and the team is a perfect 8-0 at Cameron Hall. VMI’s 13 wins in 14 games is its best run since 1978.
VMI returns to action on Saturday, playing host to Liberty at 1:00pm. at Cameron Hall. There will also be an Alumni Game featuring former Keydet players following the VMI-Liberty contest. Presbyterian returns home Saturday to host Charleston Southern.
RADFORD 82, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 53
Art Parakhouski (Minsk, Belarus) recorded his league-leading ninth double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds and three others scored in double figures to lead Radford to a convincing 82-53 win over Charleston Southern Monday evening at Peters Hall. The triumph was the fourth-straight for the Highlanders and fifth consecutive in the Big South as they are off to their best start in League competition since the 1999-2000 campaign. It was also the largest margin of victory for Radford in Conference play since Jan. 18, 1999 when it defeated Coastal Carolina 104-75.
Kenny Thomas (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) was just behind Parakhouski with 18 points, including four buckets from long range. Joey Lynch-Flohr (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) added 15 points and five assists for Radford, (8-9, 5-1 Big South) while Eric Hall (Greensboro, N.C./Ben L. Smith) hit the 10-point plateau for the second time in as many contests with 11. The Highlanders’ frontcourt trio of Parakhouski, Lynch-Flohr and Hall combined to go 18-for-26 (69.2 percent) from the floor.
Radford raced out to 16-3 lead and stretched the margin to as many as 17 on Phillip Martin’s (Roanoke, Va./Roanoke Catholic) first three-pointer of the season before heading to the half up, 40-24. The Highlanders committed just two turnovers in the first 20 minutes of action, while holding Charleston Southern (5-10, 1-4 Big South) to just 10-of-27 (.370) from the field. To go along with its strong play on the defensive end, Radford canned five of its 11 attempts from downtown in the period. Lynch-Flohr and Thomas led all players at the break with 10 points each. A pair of Hall free throws with just under five minutes to play capped a 16-2 run and gave the Highlanders their largest lead of the contest, 74-42.
Jamarco Warren, who entered the contest averaging over 21 points per outing, was one of three Charleston Southern players to score 12 points.
Radford will travel to High Point Saturday for a 7:00pm contest before returning to the Dedmon Center on Jan. 21 when it hosts VMI. Charleston Southern visits Presbyterian Saturday evening.